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  • Naomi Stephens | Permaculture Designer

Permaculture and Creativity - How to be more creative in your everyday life

Updated: Nov 25, 2022

When most people hear the term "permaculture," they tend to envision a straightforward vision of sustainability and self-sufficiency - but in reality, it takes quite a bit of creativity to make that vision a reality.

As a permaculturist, coming up with solutions that work with nature rather than against it requires out-of-the-box thinking. Take water catchment systems, for example - instead of relying on piped in water, why not collect rainwater with an inventive system of gutters and barrels? Or consider natural pest control - instead of petroleum-based pesticides, why not attract helpful insects or plant companion crops to ward off unwanted ones? The list goes on and on - permaculture emphasizes finding solutions that are both environmentally friendly and efficient, and that often require some serious creativity. So don't be fooled into thinking permaculture is just about having a garden - it truly takes a creative mind to make it thrive.

Most people think that in order to be creative, you have to be intelligent. However, research has shown that this is not the case. Once you get beyond an I.Q. of about 120, intelligence and creativity are no longer related. This means that even if you are not as smart as most people, you still have the potential to be very creative.

So why are so few people highly creative? Because there are bad habits people learn as they grow up that crush the creative pathways in the brain. And like all bad habits, they can be broken if you are willing to work at it. Here are eight of the very worst bad habits that could be holding you back every day.

1. You Don’t Question Assumptions

The first step to being more creative is learning to question assumptions. Most people take the world around them at face value and never stop to think about why things are the way they are. For example, why do we have a five day work week? Why do schools start in September? Why do we drive on the right side of the road?

If you can start to question the status quo, you will open up a whole new world of possibilities. Once you start to see that things don’t have to be the way they are, you can start to come up with creative solutions to problems that have always seemed insoluble.

2. You Don’t Take Risks

Another bad habit that stifles creativity is a fear of failure. Most people are so afraid of failing that they never even try to do anything new or different. They play it safe, sticking to the tried and true because they don’t want to risk looking foolish.

However, if you want to be more creative, you need to be willing to take risks. You need to be willing to put yourself out there and try new things, even if you might fail. Because it is only by taking risks that you will ever achieve anything great.

3. You Don’t Break the Rules

Most people live their lives by a set of strict rules. They color within the lines, never deviating from what is considered “normal” or “acceptable.” But if you want to be more creative, you need to be willing to break the rules. You need to be willing to color outside the lines and do things differently.

4. You Don’t Daydream

When was the last time you sat down and daydreamed? If you can’t remember, then it’s been too long. Daydreaming is essential for creativity because it allows your mind to wander and explore new ideas.

5. You Don’t Make Time for Creativity

Most people think that creativity is something that just happens, like a bolt of lightning. But the truth is, creativity is something that you have to work at. It requires time and effort to cultivate.

If you want to be more creative, you need to make time for it. You need to set aside time each day to work on creative pursuits. Whether it’s writing, painting, or just brainstorming new ideas, you need to give yourself the time and space to be creative.

6. You Don’t Collaborate

Creativity is often thought of as a solo pursuit. But the truth is, creativity thrives in collaboration. When you work with others, you are exposed to new ideas and perspectives. This can help you to see problems in new ways and come up with creative solutions that you never would have thought of on your own.

7. You Don’t Take Breaks

When most people are working on a project, they just push through to the finish. But if you want to be more creative, you need to take breaks. This doesn’t mean that you should stop working altogether. But it does mean that you should take some time each day to step away from your work and clear your head.

8. You Don’t Practice

Creativity is like a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it gets. If you want to be more creative, you need to practice. This means trying new things, even if you’re not sure you’ll be successful. It means making time for creativity each day. And it means being willing to fail.

9. You Don’t Believe in Yourself

One of the biggest roadblocks to creativity is a lack of self-confidence. If you don’t believe in yourself, it will be very difficult to create anything new or different. But if you can learn to believe in your own abilities, you will be amazed at what you can achieve.

10. You Don’t Take Action

Creativity is not just about having good ideas. It’s also about taking action on those ideas. If you want to be more creative, you need to start putting your ideas into action. This means taking risks, stepping outside your comfort zone, and being willing to fail.


These are just some of the bad habits that stifle creativity. If you can learn to avoid them, you will be well on your way to becoming more creative.

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